Core Company Members
Maria Lucero Padilla
Maria Lucero Padilla has served as co-director, facilitator, and content expert of Berkeley Interactive Theater for 10 years. As lead facilitator in BIT she uses live theater and audience participation to depict, analyze and strategize solutions to problematic workplace and classroom interactions with the goal of raising awareness, promoting dialogue, effecting small and large-scale policy and organizational change around emotionally charged multi-generational issues of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability and status, specifically as these issues relate to the Berkeley experience.
She has a 30+ year career in higher education as a multi-cultural education and retention specialist. She is the Compliance Education Manager in the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD) and develops and implements specialized and tailored sexual & racial harassment prevention and multicultural competency education programs for all campus constituencies. She provides consultation, policy formulation and programming in areas of student/staff retention, student leadership development, multicultural organizational development, and campus/classroom climate issues.
She is committed to reinventing education and enhancing multidisciplinary experiential learning and collaborative problem solving.
Michael Mansfield has served as co-director, course teacher, and artistic director of Berkeley Interactive Theater for 10 years at the University of California Berkeley. In addition, he is faculty lecturer and undergraduate academic advisor in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies.
Before UCB, he worked as a transformational change theater artist, educator, and speaker for over 30 years nationally and internationally. His company, Getting to the Heart, collaborated with institutions, groups, corporations, and companies providing “conference facilitation through the arts”. Concurrently, he has been committed to higher education as faculty member since 1979, teaching at many colleges, universities, graduate schools, junior colleges, and seminaries.
He is beginning his 24th year as a teaching artist in Bay Area elementary schools, teaching dance to about 800 children each year. He also works at Aurora Theatre Company in Berkeley as audience educator and house manager. His background in acting, dance, education, performance, theology, and social justice informs his work at the intersection point of education, theater, and ritual. He has a kinesthetic bias.
Louel Señores is a UC Berkeley alumnus who has served as lead script developer, playwright, and company actor with Berkeley Interactive Theater for 9 years.
Berkeley Interactive Theater's script-developing process is a collaborative one, with scenarios co-created by BIT along with BIT's sponsoring organizations. He hopes that every script he writes has complex characters who are able to fully embody the many different perspectives and voices they aim to represent.
He hopes to bring this kind of work more broadly to the world outside academic institutions – specifically to foster better communication and better understanding of national and global issues at the local level.
Outside of BIT, he is a local performer, stage manager, and house manager for various Bay Area theaters. He enjoys LARPing, foam-fighting, and West Coast Swing dancing.
Check out LouelSenores.com for more information.